Five minutes before the start of service, I slipped through the church door and into the farthest corner of the back pew.
I plopped my purse down beside me, creating a barrier between myself and my nearest neighbor, a youngish man with a full beard. Then I arranged my Bible on my knees and buried my nose in the church bulletin. No one would dare to talk to me now.
After scanning the worship choruses, I flipped to the back page and read,
Church of the Bible - Announcements
Business Meeting: Monday night is our Monthly Business Meeting. Members should join Peter and the other Apostles here, at 6:00 pm, to discuss the many new activities in store for our church.
I shook my head. Business meetings! What a lot of fuss and bother. And boring to the core. It’s a miracle if they ever get anything decided.
Marriage Study: Tuesday at 6:00 pm. Join Ruth and Boaz as they discuss the Biblical meaning of love and marriage.
As if Jacob would ever let me drag him to something like this….
Bible Study: Join us Wednesday night at 7:00 for Adult Bible Study. This week Ananias and Sapphira will present a lesson on “The Importance of Generosity.”
My gaze swept the room. And boy! Do these people ever need to hear that!
ALSO, your children are invited to attend Miriam’s Kid’s Choir, meeting downstairs during the study.
I shuddered. What a headache THAT would produce.
Church Work Day! Thursday – Bring your tools, and a willing heart, and help us with some needed maintenance. 8:00 am till Noon. Lunch provided.
Cheap slavery. And I bet there won’t be enough to eat. Church people can be so stingy.
“Tied Together” Ladies’ Night meets at Dorcas’ house at 7:30 pm, Thursday. Bring needles and thread, and help sew for charity!
If only I’d learned how to sew….
Evangelism Class: Friday at 6:00 pm. Jonah and Philip will be presenting part 3 of “The Do’s and Don’ts of Evangelism.”
Oops! Missed part one. Oh, well.
Men’s Breakfast: Saturday morning at 6:00. Come join the fun! Jacob and Stephen have promised to cook up a wonderful meal. King David will lead a discussion on “Raising Your Children to Follow Christ,” and Samson and Absalom will give a presentation entitled “Should Men Wear Long Hair? – The Advantages and Dangers Thereof.”
I chuckled. Wish I could be there for THAT one.
Hour of Prayer: Saturday night, 7:00 – 8:00. Daniel will host this hour of quiet time and fellowship with God.
Just wait and see, Daniel. No one will come. We’ve all got better things to do on a Saturday night. Actually, I’ve got better things to do all week! Who thinks up these projects anyway?
The soft strains of piano music filled the room. It’d be time to sing in another minute, but first….
Abandoning my usual caution, I shook my bulletin at the bearded man beside me. “Have you seen these announcements?” I exclaimed in a whisper. “I don’t know why this church bothers with so many programs. Don’t they realize how busy people are? I’ve got tons of things to do already this week without bothering about business meetings and sewing circles.”
The man smiled, the laugh lines around his eyes deepening. “Actually,” he whispered, “it’s almost the opposite for me. I feel like I’m too busy to want to miss any of them. I’m planning to go to each one.”
“May I borrow your Bible?”
Before I could reply, he scooped the Bible off my lap, flipped through it, and then replaced it, one rough finger pointing arrow-like to the page.
I silently read the words below his finger.
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20 NIV).
In front of me, the whole church rose for the first song, and the man beside me rose also. But I remained in my seat, listening to the praise that filled the room, the song that seemed to swirl up and up until it danced along the ceiling. The bearded man had his eyes closed, and he sang with outstretched arms. Only then did I notice the nail holes in his upraised hands.
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